Our Vision and Mission

The following principles form the cornerstone to the development of the Themes and Goals in this Strategic Plan, and the successful implementation of their Objectives.

The Board of Education has worked in partnership with the community to develop and declare the following values, beliefs and vision that form the foundation of this strategic plan.

Core Values

The Saanich School District has five interrelated core values that provide the foundation for our actions and decisions:

  • Compassion: Being empathetic and helpful
  • Fairness: Being just and equitable
  • Honesty: Being truthful, open and sincere
  • Responsibility: Being transparent, answerable and accountable
  • Respect: Being considerate and receptive

Beliefs

The Board of Education, on behalf of and based on consultation with the broader community, is committed to acting on the following beliefs:

  • Public education is fundamental to our democratic society and provides equity and equality of opportunity for all children
  • Public schools have the responsibility to prepare young people to be active, participatory members of the community who contribute to a healthy, diverse, socially responsible and environmentally sustainable society
  • Public education is the responsibility of the whole community. Policy decisions made locally by elected boards of education and provincially by government must reflect the values and aspirations of a democratic society
  • Healthy relationships are the foundation of a successful public education system

Vision

Our vision is one of:

  • A society that is inclusive, honouring and respectful
  • A public education system that is responsive, relevant and resourced
  • Education and society that operate in a pervasive partnership
  • Learning experiences that create success for each child and constant learning for all
  • Learning environments that are innovative, and that are built from strength

As stated in Board Policy 1010 – Education Philosophy, the philosophy and mission of the Saanich Board of Education are as follows:

Philosophy

Public education is fundamental to our democratic society and is a key institution which provides for the equality of opportunity for all citizens. Public education shares responsibility with parents for preparing our young people as citizens contributing to a cohesive, socially responsible society.

Mission

We are committed to:

  • Preparing of our young people to realize their potential as educated, responsible citizens prepared to make quality choices and positive contributions in a democratic society;
  • Helping students develop skill at learning, confidence in their ability to learn and attitudes that encourage life-long learning; and,
  • Supporting the achievements of all students.

Key to the success of any plan for success in K-12 education, and the success of children and adults alike, is a combination of good governance and good leadership. Each of those, as described below, serve as a support for the strategic plan. The degree to which the Board and its leadership team are abiding by these ideals will be reviewed and reported on as part of the monitoring of the strategic plan

Governance

Key to the success of any plan for success in K-12 education, and the success of children and adults alike, is a combination of good governance and good leadership. Each of those, as described below, serve as a support for the strategic plan. The degree to which the Board and its leadership team are abiding by these ideals will be reviewed and reported on as part of the monitoring of the strategic plan

  • They are akin to ombudspersons.
  • They are stewards of local interests, mediators between government and the local community and advocates for their respective regions.
  • They lobby to acquire educational services and resources that constituents feel are needed.
  • They have first-hand experience with community priorities and values and ensure that their governance of public education reflects those local values and priorities.
  • They focus on developing their credibility and trust among constituents and are cautious not to extend their role into district management.
  • They adapt successfully to a constantly evolving political landscape.
  • They strive constantly to ensure high-quality communication networks.
  • They value and engage in professional development that is focused on their trustee role.
  • They are focused on:
    • data-driven decision-making;
    • improving student achievement across the district;
    • the provision of responsible financial management; and,
    • establishing programs and engaging in initiatives related to improving teaching and learning.
  • They are concerned about:
    • the provision of safe and caring schools;
    • improving the quality of teaching; and,
    • closing the achievement gap among various subgroups.

According to research commissioned and published by the US National School Boards Association Center for Public Education, “effective boards focus on setting overall direction for their districts, obtaining and aligning resources to accomplish goals, building relationships with communities and staff, holding the local system accountable, and learning continuously as a governance team.” The publication went on to describe eight characteristics of effective Boards:

  • Committed to a vision of high expectations for student achievement and quality instruction, and defines clear goals toward that vision.
  • Strong shared beliefs and values about what is possible for students and their ability to learn, and of the system and its ability to teach all children at high levels.
  • Driven by accountability, spending less time on operational issues and more time focused on policies to improve student achievement.
  • Fosters a collaborative relationship with staff and the community, and establishes a strong communications structure to inform and engage both internal and external stakeholders in setting and achieving district goals.
  • Data-savvy; embraces and monitors data, even when the information is negative, and uses it to drive continuous improvement.
  • Aligns and sustains resources, such as professional development, to meet district goals.
  • Leads as a united team together with the superintendent, all members from their respective roles, with strong collaboration and mutual trust.
  • Takes part in team development and training, sometimes with the superintendents, to build shared knowledge, values and commitments for its improvement efforts.

In School District 63 Saanich, the Board of Education is committed to the notion that public education is fundamental to a democratic society and is key to providing equality of opportunity for all children. Educational decision-making in School District 63 (Saanich) is guided by the principles of active learning and the values of compassion, fairness, honesty, responsibility and respect. The Board’s declared governance goals are as follows:

  • To build broad community support for public education and to advocate for adequate funding and sound decision-making by elected public representatives.
  • To prepare learners to be active citizens in building a society that is cohesive, socially responsible and environmentally sustainable.
  • To recognize the importance of learners’ achievements in a wide range of intellectual, aesthetic and physical domains, and to support their growth in emotional and physical well-being, and social responsibility.
  • To support flexible and relevant learning experiences.
  • To improve opportunities for early learners and to improve adult literacy.
  • To demonstrate and foster strong, positive relationships among adults and with learners and to ensure that learners’ voices are heard and respected.
  • To ensure that the school district's capital assets are used to support educational needs and/or for public community uses.

Leadership

Leadership is well understood to make a positive difference in the life of an organization. In the Saanich School District, leadership occurs at every level and is demonstrated by teachers, support staff, administrators, students, parents and trustees. Strong leadership can be characterized in many ways, including as described in the research of Kouzes and Posner.

  • Model the way
  • Inspire a shared vision
  • Challenge the process (status quo)
  • Enable others to act
  • Encourage the heart.

These aspects of leadership throughout the district are key to the successful activation of the Board’s strategic plan. For those in official positions of leadership, the following standards, as defined by the BC Principals and Vice-Principal Association but transferable to all leadership, will be evident.

Domain 1: Moral Stewardship

  • Standard 1: Values, Vision and Mission
  • Standard 2: Ethical Decision-making

Domain 2: Instructional Leadership

  • Standard 3: Leading for Learning
  • Standard 4: Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment

Domain 3: Relational Leadership

  • Standard 5: Intrapersonal Capacity
  • Standard 6: Interpersonal Capacity
  • Standard 7: Cultural Leadership

Domain 4: Organizational Leadership

  • Standard 8: Management and Administration
  • Standard 9: Community Building
2020